The small 4-wheel drive concept vehicle was the winning design in a Ford sponsored contest for industrial art students. Mr. Derek Millsap, who created the 5-seat sport-utility vehicle, lent his initials to the Bronco DM-1 name. Bulbous body was made of steel-reinforced fiberglass, and the large hatch extended into the roof.
AS CONTEMPORARY automotive designs go, sport/utility vehicles can be characterized as anachronistic. While every passenger car in the world pays homage to aerodynamics, utes continue to as square-cut
and straightforward as building blocks. SUV owners like them that way.
However, if Ford forecasts prove correct, the shape of utes to come may be more streamlined. A case in point is the Ford DM1, a concept proto currently testing response on the show circuit.
DM1 started out as a senior project competition between 10 students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. With tech guidance from Ford, the students made 3/8-scale clay models of the SUV of the 1990s.
The design that emerged on top, by Derek Milsap, so impressed Ford Chairman Donald E. Petersen and design chief Jack Telnack that they made it into a full-size prototype.
Conversion of the small clay model to show car was handled by Richard Huttine, a California designer who has worked on a number of Ford projects, including the 1989 T-Bird.
DM1 rides on a humble Ford Escort chassis, but could easily be mated to a 4x4 system such as today’s Bronco II.
Other refinements: 17-in. wheels with low-profile all-terrain tires, dot-matrix glass overhead with opacity adjustable at the flip of a switch, and a satellite navigation system.
Ford is vague about production plans for the DM1 idea, but creator Milsap is now producing more ideas for Ford-as a member of the truck design group.
Tony Swan "Buck Rogers Bronco" - Popular Mechanics, March 1988